Author: Ann Gynn

Ann Gynn edits the CMI blog. Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. Former college adjunct faculty, Ann also helps train professionals in content so they can do it themselves. Follow Ann on Twitter @anngynn or connect on LinkedIn.

By ann-gynn published June 9, 2022

Want To Really Win Over Your Audience? Be Their Accountability Partner

It happens every Jan. 1. People set goals for the new year – and most stop working to achieve them within a month.

The same thing happens after webinars, conferences, how-to articles, goal-focused podcasts, or motivational videos. People feel inspired to do something. As with New Year’s resolutions, people get hyped up and may take a step or two toward executing new ideas.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published June 1, 2022

5 Steps You Can Take Now To Make Future Content Updates Easier

You’ve probably read lots of advice on how to refresh, reuse, and revise old content. The first step is almost always the same: Conduct a content audit.

Frankly, some marketers see that advice and move on. After all, a content audit takes a lot of time – from figuring out how to do it to the actual execution.

But what if refresh, reuse, and revise didn’t require a full-fledged content audit. What if you already knew what to do? You probably would be more likely to do it.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published May 25, 2022

The Deadline Struggle Is Real. Try These 5 Tips to Manage It

Do you remember when you realized a content marketing deadline was more like a strong suggestion than a hard date?

I grew up in the journalism world, where a missed deadline kept dozens of people waiting to do their jobs to finish the product and get it delivered to subscribers. I took the newspaper’s daily 5 p.m. deadline seriously. My commitment to deadlines started in college when I would meet professors’ deadlines even when I didn’t even start writing until the day before it was due.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published May 18, 2022

How To Win Content Friends (and Keep Their Ideas Pouring In)

We’ve all been there.

You attend a retreat designed to prompt innovative ideas. You participate in a focus group. Or perhaps you met with a consultant or internal strategist. Maybe you joined a brainstorming session in your department.

The gathering concludes with hope. People are inspired. Action plans or next steps may be discussed.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published May 11, 2022

4 Trends That Will Shape the Future of Your Content Program

No one needs a reminder of how hard it is to predict the future with any accuracy. Still, you probably feel pressed to try. After all, it’s your job to keep up with (or, if you’re lucky get ahead of) audience preferences and industry shifts.

That’s why CMI chief strategy advisor Robert Rose put hard questions about the future of content to a panel of industry leaders. Their conversation in a webinar offers a sneak peek at the discussions expected at ContentTECH Summit later this month.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published May 5, 2022

3 Ways To Use PR To Win Media Attention for Your Content [Examples]

Your great content deserves a publicist.

A public relations strategy built around your content helps both PR and marketing teams meet their goals (which should, in turn, support business goals). It gives your PR colleagues a reason to talk about your brand in the media. It expands your content’s reach to new audiences through earned media coverage. And it increases opportunities to earn backlinks from authoritative sites, which could help your SEO rankings.

A PR strategy for your content should be an easy internal sell – it uses existing resources to obtain free distribution for the content you’re already creating. You can’t get more budget-friendly than that.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published April 27, 2022

7 More Ways to Curate Content Like a Pro [New Examples]

While painters and sculptors create the art, museum curators select the pieces to include in an exhibit.

The best curators understand the museum’s mission and audience and choose stories to create an experience that will draw in and engage visitors. They decide which artists to highlight and how to present the information for their audiences to consume.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published April 25, 2022

7 Questions Every Writer Should Ask To Craft an Effective Lead

Updated April 25, 2022

“Please don’t read this article.”

That’s the unintentional plea made by content writer after content writer.

They craft a boring lead that would make even the most well-caffeinated person fall asleep. They spend hundreds of words to get to the point. They get so “creative” that they miss conveying the purpose of the article.

Ultimately, they tell potential readers to look elsewhere for interesting, valuable content.

I have read all types of leads – many good ones, too – in thousands of submissions to the Content Marketing Institute. I’ve been editing for more than 20 years – at a daily newspaper, a trade publication, a law firm, a content marketing agency, etc.

The universal truth is that too many people write ineffective leads.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published April 20, 2022

How To Use Agile Marketing for a More Productive (and Happier) Content Team

It’s time to stand up for your content marketing operations.

Yes, physically get up from your chair. Ask your content marketing peers to do the same. Stand together every workday for no more than 15 minutes. Share what you’ve done in the past 24 hours, what you plan to do today, and what hurdles you’ve encountered that could hamper your progress.

This daily exercise is just one part of turning your team onto an Agile content marketing approach.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published April 7, 2022

If You Want To Create Exceptional Content, Limit Your Options

Many content marketers are asked to do more without getting more resources. With audience attention harder to capture than ever, how can a creative content team cope?

Go to Raising Cane’s and study the menu.

If you don’t have time to go or aren’t near one of the chain’s 500 restaurants in 27 states and five countries, I’ll explain. The restaurants sell:

  • Chicken fingers
  • Crinkle fries
  • Coleslaw
  • Texas toast
  • Cane’s sauce

Five things. That’s it.Continue Reading